The Secret Life of Jakarta's City Cats!

  1. Alexisstrelka Donut Mar 24, 2019

    Alexisstrelka, Mar 24, 2019 :

    The Secret Life of Jakarta's City Cats

    A technical synopsis

    The goal here is to make a semi-humorous, short 'parody' on the nature documentary genre so very perfected by people like Sir David Attenborough and his team(s); but focusing on the lives of the warm fuzzy critters that live in our cities—more specifically the city of Jakarta, Indonesia where I come from!

    Attenborough's style of nature documentary has been so impactful partly because they so effectively anthropomorphise animal life; projecting onto them human thoughts and emotions which makes their struggles that much more relatable.

    This film will approach the genre from a similar—but of course much more light-hearted—angle. The imagery will attempt to evoke reactions in the viewer ranging from solemn reflection, to touched chuckles.

    Yet even detached from the meaning we ascribe to these scenes, the imagery itself—pixels light-and-dark rendering Jakarta's gritty mish-mash of colours, tones, and angles—I imagine would be pretty stunning, once properly shot and colour graded.

    The cinematography would feature a lot of low, close-up shots; depicting what the world would look like from a cat's street level perspective. On top of that, the amount of detail a modern smartphone sensor could pull from fur, concrete, foliage, is very, very impressive, AND (final and, I promise) imagine all that sweet, soft bokeh on the screen.

    There is the issue of how we would film the animals without startling them. Well, first and foremost, these feral cats have lived in close proximity with humans ever since they were born and thus are more docile than you expect. For the more intimate scenes, I can see how using an olloclip portrait lens paired with a tripod and remote shutter will help a lot.

    THE thing that's going to make or break this film is the narrator. I know everybody likes Mr. Attenborough's voice and all, but I feel like someone with an Indonesian accent would make this piece a lot more endearing.


    Cats being animals, can't really act. They go about their day unbeknownst to what we think of them. But clearly, that hasn't really stopped them from doing interesting (and cute!) things.

    There are LOADS of things we can put in in the final film that I haven't managed to fit in in the above storyboard!

    Cats interacting with dogs (and other weird *ss animals that somehow end up in Jakarta!), cats fighting, cats tryna climb up things and falling over, cats getting startled by random objects, cats playing with kids, the possibilities are literally quite endless, AND a good nature documentary takes whatever footage we manage to extract out of raw nature (well, 'nature' in this case) and fashions from it a compelling narrative. A narrative which, like good fiction, tugs on the viewer's emotional heartstrings. This is going to be very interesting.

    That being said, the storyboard you just went through is very rough; there simply is no way I could've drawn every single minutiae.

    A bit of a background (and some concluding thoughts)

    I first planned to do this film two years ago as my submission to a silent film competition at my high school, but they wanted there to be actual /human/ students acting out; so alas, this one had to be shelved.

    I was never expecting OnePlus to pick me as one of their top 45 (I didn't even notice I was picked until 48 hours before the deadline) but here I am. Hmm, I guess I just wanted to say thank you. The prizes are cool, sure, but even if you guys don't vote me into the top 10, I still walk out of this having done something I wouldn't have done otherwise. I used to do short films often with my schoolmates; always as scriptwriter, cinematographer, and editor, but college life doesn't really let you do these things; especially far away from my hometown.

    So... my sincerest gratitude to everyone voting (or just going through!) some of my ideas; special shoutout to my fellow countrymen and women from Indonesia, and fellow city-folk of Hong Kong!!
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019

    Snehal1701, script, adrian17 and 15 others like this.
  2. anjelpatel54 Froyo Mar 26, 2019

    Alexisstrelka likes this.
  3. Alexisstrelka Donut Mar 26, 2019

    Alexisstrelka, Mar 26, 2019 :
    I'm glad you liked it! ^w^

    I'm not a professional artist or anything but I've always seen cinematography as a serious hobby and I put a lot of time into painting those panels :'(

  4. giocowo Cupcake Mar 26, 2019

  5. antares27 Cupcake Mar 26, 2019

  6. Alexisstrelka Donut Mar 27, 2019

    Alexisstrelka, Mar 27, 2019 :
    Thanks a bunch!